chevron icon chevron icon

PSLE 2024 Syllabus

PSLE syllabus overview

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is the first major exam for most students studying in Singapore. The nationally-held exam, taken by Primary 6 children, marks the end of their primary school journey and the beginning of their secondary school education.

Primary 6 students must study 4 main subjects — English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue Language (MTL). Primary 5 or 6 children are offered English Language, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue Language (MTL) at the Foundation or Standard level based on their Primary 4 results. A child may also be offered Higher MTL depending on their MTL results.

Click to learn more about each PSLE subject:


English is the main language of official communication in multicultural Singapore. Hence, the emphasis is on learning the language well. The focus is not just on how to read, write or speak, but to do all three proficiently. Primary students are exposed to English through various activities, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Two levels are offered in English — Standard and Foundation. 

The 2024 Primary English syllabus aims to enhance students' language skills in these key areas:

  • Comprehension: Understand and appreciate a wide range of texts in standard English from various sources, including print, non-print, and digital platforms.
  • Expression: Speak, write, and represent ideas in grammatically correct, fluent, and appropriate English for different purposes, audiences, contexts, and cultures.
  • Language Mechanics: Use English grammar and vocabulary accurately, and grasp how speakers and writers structure language to convey meaning effectively.
  • Impactful Communication: Utilise English to communicate with impact, ensuring the intended effect and emotional resonance.
Now let's look at the key Areas of Learning Language (AoLL) that will be tested this year:

Listening and viewing

Listening and viewing closely with a positive disposition

  • Foster a positive outlook by listening and viewing attentively for an extended period. Show empathy and respect, and respond appropriately in various communication situations and interactions.
  • Be able to perceive and recognise sounds and words in context. Develop phonological awareness and identify keywords, prosodic features, and non-fluency features in spoken language.
  • Achieve understanding by tapping into prior knowledge and contextual clues, including semiotic features. Utilise a variety of listening and viewing skills, along with learner strategies, to interpret texts effectively.

Listening and viewing critically

  • Think about how different parts of the text are connected when you listen or read.

Listening and viewing extensively

  • Listen, watch, and react to texts for various reasons in different situations to enjoy and understand them.

Reading and viewing

Reading and viewing closely

  • Read accurately and smoothly by recognising words and fostering a positive attitude.
  • Enhance careful reading and viewing by employing various skills and strategies in comprehension, information, and media literacy. This helps in understanding and extracting meaning from a variety of texts.

Reading and viewing critically

  • Critically react to and evaluate hidden meanings in different texts. Use analysis, judgment, and metacognitive strategies to connect ideas and grasp the overall meaning of texts. Be aware of how a writer's style can impact the meaning.

Reading and viewing widely and extensively for different purposes

  • Engage with a variety of interesting and age-appropriate texts, including those that combine different modes like images and text. Do this for various reasons: to understand how different modes affect the text and its meaning, to apply your skills in other language learning and subjects, and simply for enjoyment.

Speaking and representing

Knowledge base for speaking and representing

  • Gain a better understanding of spoken language features, such as how the way we talk changes based on the situation.

  • Improve speaking skills by being both fluent and accurate, including using the right prosodic features.

  • Recognise the rules of conversation and the roles of speakers in different settings.

Speaking and representing confidently and effectively for a variety of purposes, audiences, contexts and cultures, both individually and collectively

  • Arrange and structure ideas gathered from various texts, combining both language and other modes of communication.

  • Take part in discussions with respect, actively shaping, expressing, and presenting ideas in real-time responses to the audience.

  • Speak and represent ideas with confidence, ensuring clarity and smooth flow. Use different modes effectively for various purposes.

  • Pay increasing attention to creating texts that recount, entertain, instruct, describe, inform, respond, and evaluate.

  • Modify planned speech, continually monitor and revise to enhance communication. Adjust based on the intended purpose and the listener's response, both immediately and upon reflection.

Writing and representing

Acquiring the mechanics of writing

  • Write in a way that is neat, easy to read, and smooth.

  • Use spelling skills and strategies correctly, especially for words that are often misspelled or have many syllables.

Writing and representing creatively and critically for a variety of purposes, audiences, contexts, and cultures, both individually and collaboratively

  • Apply skills to generate, select, organise, develop, express, and revise ideas to meet the writer's goal, audience needs, and context or culture. Pay more attention to using different modes of communication in creating texts.

  • Create diverse texts for various reasons, using the right tone and style. Understand how the skills and knowledge from writing specific types of texts can be used to create more advanced texts of different types and forms.

  • Write and represent with a clear understanding of the suitable organisational structures and language features for different purposes.


Use of terms

  • Use language that discusses how words and language work at the text level and during the process of editing and self-correction.

Grammar at word, phrase, and sentence levels

  • Use your understanding of grammar when constructing words, phrases, and sentences to accurately express ideas in different social situations. 

  • Recognise that changing the way you structure sentences can convey different meanings in various contexts.

Grammar at the text level

  • Connect ideas across different clauses, sentences, and paragraphs using cohesive devices and grammatical structures.

  • Apply your understanding of language features in various types of texts when speaking, writing, and representing.

  • Recognise how purposeful language use shapes the meaning in texts.


Developing a rich vocabulary

  • Grow and improve your vocabulary by actively studying word meanings and learning new words.

  • Build a strong vocabulary by exploring how words are created, their relationships, and their contextual usage.

  • Employ different strategies to enhance your vocabulary.

Using vocabulary

  • Choose words that fit the purpose, audience, context, and culture.
  • Employ fixed expressions accurately and appropriately.

  • Recognise, appreciate, and use words for literary effect with purpose.

  • Use words meaningfully alongside other forms of communication.


PSLE Maths is designed to impart crucial life skills such as critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving. The topics covered include:

Number and algebra

Whole Numbers

  • Numbers up to 10 million
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Multiplication and division
  • Factors and Multiples
  • Four operations



  • Fractions of a whole
  • Addition and subtraction of fractions
  • Equivalent fractions
  • Mixed numbers and improper fractions
  • Fractions of a set of objects
  • Fraction and division
  • Four operations


  • Decimals up to 3 decimal places
  • Addition and subtraction of decimals
  • Multiplication and division of decimals
  • Four operations



Rate and speed

  • Rate
  • Distance, time, and speed


Measurement and geometry


  • Length, mass, and volume
  • Time

Area and volume

  • Area and perimeter
  • Area of a triangle
  • Volume of cube and cuboid
  • Area and circumference of a circle


  • 2D shapes
  • 3D shapes
  • Angles
  • Perpendicular and parallel lines
  • Rectangle and square
  • Line symmetry
  • Triangle
  • Parallelogram, rhombus, and trapezium
  • Special quadrilaterals
  • Nets


Data representation and interpretation

  • Picture graphs with scales
  • Bar graphs
  • Tables and line graphs
  • Pie charts

Data analysis

  • Average of a set of data


The Science curriculum for primary school is designed around themes that connect with students' daily experiences. These themes include Diversity, Cycles, Systems, Energy, and Interactions.

Currently, there are updates to the primary school Science syllabus. The changes involve organising the syllabus by each grade level. Students up to P4 will learn the new syllabus, while those in P5 and P6 will continue with the old syllabus until 2024. So in this 2024 syllabus mentioned below, we'll focus on the new syllabus for P4 and below and the old syllabus for P5 and P6.

Primary 3 

  • Diversity of living and nonliving things (General characteristics and classification)

  • Diversity of materials

  • Cycles in plants and animals (Life cycles)

  • Interaction of forces (Magnets)

Primary 4 

  • Plant system (Plant parts and functions)

  • Human system (Digestive system)

  • Cycles in matter and water (Matter)

  • Energy forms and uses (Light)

  • Energy forms and uses (Heat)

Primary 5 and 6

  • Cycles in plants and animals (Reproduction)

  • Cycles in matter and water (Water)

  • Plant system (Respiratory and circulatory systems)

  • Human system (Respiratory and circulatory systems)

  • Cell system

  • Electrical system

  • Interaction of forces (Frictional force, gravitational force, force in springs)

  • Interaction within the environment

  • Energy forms and uses (Photosynthesis)

  • Energy conversion

Chinese Language 

Learning Objectives

With a strong focus on bilingualism (English & Mother Tongue Language), P6 students taking PSLE Chinese are expected to meet the following learning objectives.
  • Adept at using proper grammar, sentence, vocabulary, and punctuation
  • Able to read, understand, and interpret various kinds of Chinese texts and passages
  • Capable of making inferences and conveying them in a logical manner
  • Has the ability to express personal opinions in a coherent manner

Language skills (语言能力)

Listening (聆听)

1. Be able to understand the following types of content

  • Oral instructions
  • Oral reports
  • Children's songs
  • Stories
  • School broadcasts
  • Children's programs
  • News reports
  • TV series
  • And more

2. Cultivate the following attitudes and habits

  • Listen attentively, patiently, and with focus.
  • Cultivate the habit of thinking while listening.
  • Enjoy listening to Mandarin Chinese to broaden your listening scope.
3. Acquire the following knowledge and skills to build your listening skills
  • Ability to recognise Mandarin Chinese phonetic features
    • Distinguish different syllables, initials, finals, and tones.
    • Perceive variations in intonation.
  • Comprehension of listening materials
    • Understand the information.
    • Identify specific details such as characters, events, time, location, data, etc.
    • Utilise visual and auditory clues for enhanced understanding (e.g., speaker's actions, varying emotions, tone, and intonation changes).
    • Comprehend the speaker's opinions.
    • Differentiate between various viewpoints.
    • Discern implicit information.
  • Analysis of listening materials
    • Organise the sequence of events.
    • Make inferences and predictions based on the context, keywords, etc., in the listening content.

Speaking (说话)

1. Master these types of spoken language

  • Narration: Sharing experiences and stories.
  • Reflection: Expressing thoughts and feelings.
  • Reporting: Presenting information or updates.

2. Cultivate the following attitudes and habits

  • Expressing in Mandarin Chinese proactively, positively, and confidently.
  • Actively accumulating daily language materials to enrich speaking content.
  • Speaking politely.
  • Taking responsibility for one's words and actions.
3. Acquire the following knowledge and skills to build your speaking skills
  • Mastery of Mandarin Chinese pronunciation
    • Clearly and accurately articulate initials, finals, tones, and syllables.
    • Maintain standard pronunciation and articulate words distinctly.
  • Ability to conceptualise and organise speech content
    • Develop speech content by connecting life experiences and prior knowledge.
    • Articulate thoughts coherently.
    • Organise speech around a central theme.
    • Conduct basic analysis and provide explanations on topics.
  • Accurate and fluent oral expression
    • Clearly and completely express ideas.
    • Use appropriate tones.
    • Natural intonation and suitable pace.
    • Adjust speech according to the situation, audience, and the need to communicate.

Spoken interaction (口语互动)

1. Types of spoken language students need to learn

  • Conversation, inquiry, discussion, persuasion, interviews, etc.

2. Cultivate the following attitudes and habits

  • Provide appropriate responses while listening (e.g., nodding, smiling, applauding).
  • Actively, positively, and confidently engage in Mandarin Chinese communication.
  • Consider others' feelings and respect their opinions during conversations.
  • Actively participate in discussions, expressing personal viewpoints.
  • Take responsibility for one's words when communicating with others.
3. Acquire the following knowledge and skills to build your spoken interaction skills
  • Targeted oral communication skills
    • Pose questions and respond appropriately to others' inquiries.
    • Express opinions and provide suitable responses to others' viewpoints.
    • Select speech content and language based on the situation and audience.
  • Proficient oral communication skills
    • Request clarification when speech is unclear.
    • Accomplish speech tasks through discussion.
    • Engage in effective turn-taking during conversations.
    • Utilise body language, tone, etc., to aid communication and self-correct errors (e.g., gestures, paraphrasing, alternative words, corrections, rephrasing).

Reading (阅读)

  1. Types of materials students can reference

    • Nursery rhymes, stories, fairy tales, fables, legends, notices, posters, advertisements, charts, leaflets, menus, newspapers, manuals, etc.
  2. Cultivate the following attitudes and habits

    • Love and care for books.
    • Enjoy the pleasure of reading and willingly share it with others.
    • Have a fondness for reading extracurricular materials.
    • Read with focus and concentration.
    • Engage in proactive reading (borrowing from the library, reading online).
    • Accumulate knowledge while reading.
    • Read systematically with a plan.
    • Cultivate the habit of thinking while reading.
  3. Acquire the following knowledge and skills to build your spoken interaction skills
    • Ability to recognise characters' form, pronunciation, and meaning

      • Recognise characters in the range of 600 to 650.
      • Recognise characters in the range of 1200 to 1300.
      • Recognise characters in the range of 1600 to 1700.
      • Recognise characters in the range of 1800 to 1900.
    • Ability to recognise radicals and components

    • Utilise punctuation to understand reading material

    • Comprehension of reading material

      • Use Chinese Pinyin, pictures, videos, etc., for reading.
      • Read appropriate passages correctly, fluently, and with emotion.
      • Understand the main information.
      • Identify specific details.
      • Infer the meaning of words and sentences.
      • Grasp implicit information.
    • Analyse, synthesise, and evaluate reading material

      • Predict the development and outcomes of events.
      • Make comparisons (opinions, content, character changes).
      • Summarise content (character traits, paragraph meaning, article main idea, draw conclusions).
      • Express opinions on content (e.g., characters' actions).

Writing (写作)

1. Types of content students will work with
  • Greeting cards, notes, diaries, letters, stories etc.

2. Cultivate the following attitudes and habits
  • Master the correct way to hold a pen and proper writing posture.
  • Write in a standardised, upright, and neat manner.
  • Willingly express oneself in Chinese in written form.
  • Experience the joy of writing and be eager to share it with others.
  • Actively observe life, engage in positive thinking, and accumulate writing materials.
3. Acquire the following knowledge and skills to build your writing skills
  • Ability to Write Chinese Characters Correctly

    • Write commonly used characters.

      • 300 to 350 characters
      • 400 to 450 characters
      • 700 to 750 characters
      • 950 to 1000 characters
      • 1000 to 1100 characters
      • 1400 to 1500 characters
    • Master basic strokes and write characters following stroke order rules.

    • Pay attention to the structure of character spacing when writing.

  • Ability to use Hanyu Pinyin 
  • Ability to follow correct formatting in writing (e.g., indenting paragraphs)

  • Ability to conceptualise and organise content

    • Determine writing content based on illustrations or prompts.
    • Enrich content with relevant life experiences and existing knowledge.
    • Select appropriate writing materials based on the given topic.
    • Organise paragraphs and structure the composition.
  • Ability to express clearly and vividly

    • Correctly use punctuation.
    • Write complete sentences.
    • Clearly and fully narrate.
    • Engage in simple descriptions.
  • Ability to use reference books for editing

    • Utilise reference books to check and edit text.
    • Participate in peer assessment under teacher guidance.

Written Interaction (书面互动)

1. Be able to understand the following types of written interaction content
  • Notes, letters, text messages, emails, online posts, etc.

2. Cultivate the following attitudes and habits
  • Enjoy using Chinese for written sharing and communication.
  • Respect others' opinions and feelings during written communication.
  • Approach written communication with a responsible attitude (e.g., conveying information, expressing opinions).
3. Acquire the following knowledge and skills to build your written interaction skills
  • Ability to use appropriate methods and language for written communication
    • Utilise appropriate communication mediums to achieve communication goals (e.g., expressing emotions through greeting cards, exchanging information through notes, sharing opinions on online forums).
    • Master the formats and language used in different communication mediums (e.g., greeting cards, notes, letters, emails).
  • Ability to engage in targeted written communication

    • Pose questions and provide appropriate written responses to others' inquiries.
    • Express opinions and respond appropriately to others' viewpoints in written form.
    • Choose content and language for written interaction based on the situation and audience.

Other mother tongue languages

Singapore schools offer several languages as a second language to encourage bilingualism. Apart from this, the Ministry of Education encourages stresses the importance of Mother Tongue Language (MTL) to: 

  •  Keep one’s cultural heritage alive. 
  • Communicate with a broader audience outside of Singapore

Like other subjects, MTL is offered at Foundation and Standard levels depending on the student’s aptitude and marks. Students who have shown interest and aptitude in pursuing their mother tongue at a higher level may be offered the Higher Mother Tongue (HMTL) language, which is an additional subject on top of the MTL (be it standard or foundation level)

The 3 official MTLs are:

  •  Chinese
  •  Malay
  •  Tamil

Students who are of that ethnicity will automatically be studying their own MTL.  So, what happens to students who are not of the above ethnicity or are of mixed parentage? Well, such students can officially put in a request to study any of the languages above. Those who belong to a non-Tamil speaking Indian ethnicity will also get to choose from other Indian languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, which are also offered outside of the school.

Interestingly, from 2022, schools may offer Higher Mother Tongue Languages (Malay, Tamil) from Primary 3 onwards. Higher Malay and Tamil languages will be offered to Primary 4 from 2023 onwards. 

Information courtesy of


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Who sets the questions in the PSLE examination?

The PSLE examination is set by Singapore Examination and Assessment Board (SEAB) in conjunction with the Ministry of Education (MOE). This important task is undertaken by a panel of subject specialists equipped with knowledge of the assessment criteria. After undergoing a series of discussions to ensure each paper meets the requirements of its syllabus, the content is then vetted by senior examiners before its finalised.

Q2: Where can I download exam papers to prepare my child for PSLE 2023?

To help your child get in PSLE-ready shape, download our free exam papers for some extra practice!

Exam Preparation
icon collapse icon expand Latest Articles
icon collapse icon expand Latest Articles
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary
select dropdown icon
Our Education Consultants will get in touch with you to offer your child a complimentary Strength Analysis.
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary